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Bull steps on man at Festa

NEWMAN -- A 22-year-old man was talking but complaining of shortness of breath Monday after a bull stepped on his chest during a bullfight that concluded the 10-day Our Lady of Miracles Festa.

The accident occurred at Bella Vista Park Arena in Newman at 10 p.m., according to Chuck Coelho, ambulance director with West Side Ambulance, which responded to the scene.

The victim, whose name was not released, was talking and alert, although he had chest pains and had difficulty breathing, Coelho said. He was flown by helicopter to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto. His condition was not known Tuesday.

Coelho said the man was part of a "suicide squad," a popular event in "bloodless bullfights" in which eight men line up single file.

The front man tries to grab the bull by the horns, and the rest follow to help subdue the bull. Coelho said he wasn't sure whether the man was the front man or in the middle.

The festa program lists the suicide squad as a group from Turlock.

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